Swal from grace: GOPers want Dem off intel panel over link to suspected Chinese spy
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GOP rep seeks ethics investigation of Dem’s relationship with China spy
WASHINGTON — Beleaguered Democratic Rep. Eric Swalwell refused to answer questions Thursday on whether he intends to step down from the House Intelligence Committee over his ties to a suspected Chinese spy.
Calls for the California congressman to resign from the elite panel are gaining steam after Axios revealed that month that Swalwall was targeted by suspected spy Fang Fang before she fled the country in 2015.
The Democrat was tight-lipped on Thursday when a Fox News reporter confronted him outside his Washington, D.C., residence.
Wearing a red sweatshirt and white baseball cap, Swalwell refused to answer questions about his relationship with Fang or if he intended to step down from the committee.
Fang, who also went by the name Christine Fang, entered the US as a college student in 2011 and immediately began getting close to a number of politicians, including two Midwestern mayors she allegedly slept with.
Fang met Swalwell when he was a city councilman in California and went on to help him raise funds for his 2014 campaign, according to the Axios report which cited US intelligence officials.
The since-married father-of-two has sidestepped questions about whether he had sex with Fang — his staff claiming that information is “classified.”
The FBI warned the 40-year-old about Fang’s attempts to infiltrate the US political system in 2015 and the lawmaker has reportedly not had any contact with her since then. He has not been accused of any wrongdoing.
But Republicans want Swalwell booted off the Intelligence panel anyway, calling his relationship with Fang an “an unacceptable national security risk.”
Republican House members wrote to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Wednesday, calling for her to remove Swalwell from his position.
The lawmakers noted that the panel handles “some of the most sensitive information our government possesses,” including “information critical to our national defense.”
Pelosi said last week she was standing by Swalwell.
“I don’t have any concerns about Mr. Swalwell,” she said at her weekly briefing last Thursday.
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